Senior Vice President
Ashley Northington is an experienced strategist and proven entrepreneurial leader working at the intersection of captivating communications and transformative policy. She develops and implements campaigns that drive meaningful shifts in organizations and equitable outcomes for marginalized communities and the institutions that serve them.
Her career combines rich experiences in education, public affairs, issues management, strategic communications, and change management strategy. She is a bold visionary and social policy leader, focusing much of her professional and civic efforts on the issues that disproportionately impact people of color and women. She is a senior vice president and managing director at the RW Jones Agency, a national higher education consultancy, where she leads the firm’s work with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), its change management practice, and its efforts to support institutions focused on leading with equity.
Ashley successfully helps organizations rethink a policy, program, practice, or partnership to achieve maximum success. Her work has guided the strategic direction of institutions, supported organizations in living their values, eliminated systemic barriers, informed stakeholders, secured millions in revenue, provided robust educational options for communities, influenced elections, and galvanized people to advocate for issues that affect their lives.
Prior to joining the RW Jones Agency, Ashley served for more than 10 years as the founding agency director for DENOR Brands + Public Relations. She’s also had stints as an education and government reporter for The Tennessean, Shreveport Times, USA Today, and the Associated Press. Additionally, she has served as a press secretary and public information officer for the Louisiana Department of Education and as a policy analyst for the Bureau of Governmental Research.
She is engaged in her community and serves as the Chair of the HBCU Success Advisory Board, which provides the Tennessee Higher Education Commission with policy guidance to support Tennessee’s seven HBCUs, and Chair of Moving Forward, a group of business leaders dedicated to identifying and implementing equitable, regional transit solutions for Middle Tennesseans. She is also a member of the Board of Directors for Teach for America, Nashville-Chattanooga, which trains a diverse network of educational leaders dedicated to confronting educational inequities.
Ashley earned a Master of Public Administration with dual concentrations in public policy and higher education administration from Louisiana State University. She is also a proud graduate of Tennessee State University where she earned a bachelor's degree in English with a minor in women's studies.
She lives in Nashville with her husband, Eric Flakes.